Chambers of Commerce Back Pub Opening Call
Four local Chambers of Commerce have joined call urging the NI Executive to give drink only pubs a date when they can reopen. In a joint statement, Simon Hamilton, Chief Executive of Belfast Chamber, Karen Yates, Chief Executive of Causeway Chamber, Paul Clancy, Chief Executive of Derry Chamber and Colm Shannon, Chief Executive of Newry Chamber said, “Over the last few weeks, we have witnessed large parts of the local hospitality sector reopening after being closed down for other 3 months.
After a long period of uncertainty, it is encouraging to see the industry slowly getting back on its feet. However, not all hospitality businesses are able to open with drink only pubs still without a date when they can reopen. This contrasts unfavourably with the likes of England and Scotland which have already reopened.
We are well past the point where these businesses will have exhausted any Government grants they received and with changes to the furlough scheme meaning they will have to contribute to staff costs even though they have no income, without a reopening date to work towards, we are entering a desperate period for drink only pubs.
Hospitality businesses here have demonstrated that they can reopen responsibility putting an absolute premium on staff and customer safety. Drink only pubs will, we are sure, want to follow the guidance and open again in a way that is safe for all concerned. We would encourage the Executive to give these businesses some hope by giving them a date when they can reopen”
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